Spring has arrived, not with the warm sunny weather like I was hoping for, but hey it’s here and now we can hopefully get rid of this white stuff called ‘SNOW’ and start gardening.

I took a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show last week and I was amazed at the beauty of it all. I was a bit over whelmed and my allergies where in full, “I hate hyacinth” mode till I left but I still enjoyed it. I talked to an air plant grower and he gave me some very informative info as to why I kill air plants and orchids. I am testing his methods so stay tuned for more on that later. In the meantime, enjoy some of these pictures I captured to share with you.

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I am also in full spring seedlings mode here at my house. I started lettuce seeds two weeks ago and I am now transplanting them to trays. Last week I started broccoli and some of my cut flowers and those are also ready to be transplanted but I am already running short in room here in my basement, so I am waiting until I give my sisters some extra seedlings I have here. . I will walk you thru step by step how I do my spring seedling growing.

I start the seeds in a seeding tray that I got at my brother’s produce supply store, I set this tray on a shelf close to the woodstove, since it is so warm there they are sprouting within a few days, once the seedlings are about an inch tall they are ready for the next step. (but if your seeds are direct seeded you skip this next step)

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I have the tray on the left row seeded to get more variety in a tray and the tray on the right is scatter seeded so there are two ways you can do this, prefer the row seeding because transplanting is easier.

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I take the plants out of the seedling tray and separate them into single plants and plant them in 1204 trays, which hold 48 plants. (I got these at my local greenhouse, they have been good with selling me empty trays for my gardening adventures.) Once the baby seedlings are in these trays I put them in the cooler part of the basement under a grow light until it is warm enough take them outside. I usually do this around mid to end of April. All you must do now is keep them watered. I usually keep some seedlings aside to fill in where some died, this usually happens in the first week for me.

 

 

IMG_5843The final step is to plant them in the garden for cold crops, I plant them end of April, you could do it earlier but every time I try that I end up losing plants to the frost. I used to cover them over night and uncover during the day but I soon realized I didn’t have a crop earlier, then if I waited a bit longer to plant.

Note: I direct seed bigger seeds directly into 1204 trays so I don’t have to transplant them later, but some seeds such as lettuce and broccoli are so tiny so I do the transplanting method as mentioned above. Now for peppers, tomatoes and squash seeds I direct seed them directly into 1204 trays since the seeds are so large I can easily handle the seeds with my fingers.

I also had to share what real life is with plants everywhere and a toddler underfoot. I came in from hanging out laundry to find E quickly trying to stuff a plant back in the tray, but the pot is in her toy bin, dirt is everywhere. (Deep Breaths Mama) I clean that up to turn around and she is outside in the snow barefooted, no jacket; so the conclusion is that she has figured out how to open the patio door. I guess all doors will have to be locked at all times! She love the outdoors, plants and dirt just like her mama, so this summer could be fun and a learning experience for both of us. I already can see her come running to me all smiles and  excited about her pretty flower she found, and its one I just planted!

Till Next Time…..

Jo

 

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